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Opinion 5 min read 13 comments

Which Samsung smartphone should I buy in 2018?

Samsung's smartphone lineup used to be laughably complicated, but in recent years it has been pared down in a way that mere mortals are now able to make sense of it. There's the lower end J series, the mid-range A series, and the premium S and Note series. To help you decide which model is right for you, we've put together a list of our top picks for 2018.

Just the basics: Galaxy J series

If your budget mandates a lower end to mid-range device, or you just don't need to accomplish more than basic tasks on your smartphone, the Galaxy J series is the first place you should look. And, although some 2017 models can be found on the shelves still, when it comes to entry level and mid-range smartphones, it's best to get the newest model so the hardware will be able to keep pace.

With that in mind, we've seen the release of two new J series contenders this year so far: the Galaxy J7 (2018) and Galaxy J3 (2018). First things first: the Galaxy J7 costs around $288, while the J3 goes for around $190. With such a big difference in price comes a big difference in specs and overall experience, of course.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0874
The J series tends to mirror the S series design, but more minimalistic and less showy. Pictured: Galaxy J7 (2017). / © AndroidPIT

If you want an affordable device without disappointment or bad surprises, you should go for the J7 (2018). This year's J7 has a 5.5-inch HD display, an Exynos 7870 octacore SoC, 3,300 mAh battery, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage expandable via MicroSD up to 256 GB. It's also running Android 8.0 Oreo, and has 13 MP cameras on the front and back, along with a front fingerprint scanner. For someone who just wants to make calls, check social media and watch videos, this configuration should be perfectly adequate.

The J3, on the other hand, makes a lot of compromises. Its HD display is half an inch smaller than that of the J7, the battery is just 2,600 mAh, the SoC is just a quadcore Exynos 7570, there's no fingerprint scanner and the rear camera has just 8 MP while the front has 5 MP. Although it has the same memory configuration as the J7 and also runs Android Oreo, expectations for even a lower end smartphone in 2018 are too high for the J3 to be a winner. So, if you're looking for something entry level from Samsung, the J7 is a sure bet, but you should steer clear of the J3 unless your budget absolutely necessitates it.

Mid-range: Galaxy A series

You won't find Samsung's latest additions to the A series at your carrier shop in the US, but you can pick them up on Amazon, where prices will vary. The stars of the 2018 A series lineup are the A8 and A6, along with their Plus versions, and they pack more power and style than the J series.

The A6 (2018) has a thin bezels and a 5.6-inch HD+ AMOLED Infinity Display, while the A6+ (2018) has a larger 6-inch display. But, it doesn't just look good. It has the same Exynos 7870 SoC as the J7, Android Oreo, and 3 to 4 GB of RAM, so it runs well, too. Plus, it has 16 MP single front and rear cameras. 

galaxy A8 6
The A8 (2018) has flagship looks without the price tag. / © AndroidPIT (Stella Dauer)

The A8 and A8+ will appeal to those who like the A6 (2018), but want a bit more performance. It comes with a better SoC, the Exynos 7885, and no less than 4 GB of RAM (the A6+ also has a 6 GB option). It also packs a dual 8+16 MP selfie camera.

Premium: Galaxy S and Note series

The Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 have all now arrived, and you might be wondering what the differences are between Samsung's newest premium smartphones. The S9 and S9+ differ in display size (5.8 vs 6.2 inches), battery capacity (the larger one has 500 mAh more capacity), RAM (4 GB vs 6 GB) and the rear camera (the S9+ has a dual camera). The S9+ and Note 9 differ in display size only slightly (6.4 vs 6.3 inches), battery capacity (an additional 500 mAh for the Note) and the S-Pen, of course.

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus front
The Note 8 and S8+ are still good options in 2018, and they're now cheaper! / © AndroidPIT

While you can't go wrong with any of these options, your final choice should come down to personal preference and whether you think the slight differences between each model justify their price differences. Another thing to keep in mind is that last year's S8 and Note 8 flagships are still perfectly able to keep up, and they still look modern compared to the newest models since there haven't been many design changes. If you'd like to save some dough and still have a premium device, they are well worth considering in 2018.

Which Samsung smartphone are you most interested in right now?


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  • I left the "carrier" phones years ago. Note1 was my last Samsung phone. I switched to the Huawei Mate line with the 2, then 8 and now the 9, but as mentioned above it's probably my last one. When the Essential went on sale, I got one if for anything else a nice backup phone. It's taking a little getting use to the SMALLER screen, but that thing FLIES.

  • storm 6 months ago Link to comment

    No Samsung is on my purchase radar at all. Hate the curved edges and over priced bloat.

  • I choose the s8+. Could not be any happier. I purchased for 540.00, a deal I could not refuse!

  • I think It's always a good idea to buy a phone a year later to determine whether it us worth buying it or not. At the moment, an looking at the S7 Edge, Huawei P10(Which I plan to buy next year) and one can't go wrong with either of the two.

    • That's what I've done, the past 2 updates. Tried a Huawei Mate2 years ago for the battery, LOVED it. When the Mate 9 came out, I got the Mate 8. When the 10 came out, I sold the 8, got the 9. All for HALF of what they were. But, I think the 9 will be the last....sigh...being in the USA, after the government tossed Huawei under the car, backed up, ran over them, got out, rubbed salt in the wound, then ran over them again, I don't think Huawei has any love left for the USA market, and I don't blame them.
      Sadly, if you can't get carrier branding, you don't stand a chance here. And I doubt Samsung & Apple will easily let any others into this market. With their cozy little no interest payment plans at the carriers, they can sell full retail.

  • I always an apple fans in last few years. After being introduce by knox in Note 3, i can say that cant live without it. I feel safe even lost my phone. I hope samsung or knox can upgrade their backup services because they had lost mine!
    (But deep inside my mind, i feel even more safe)
    Currently using A5 2017, also with knox system. ;)

  • I recommend the Galaxy S8!! Best phone on the planet but not huge like the + models.

  • Wouldn't buy any overated overpriced Samsung phone.

  • Samsung phones can be very good to use and there designs sometimes stand out from the Rest,but there pricing of there phones are getting more expensive every year,and after what they priced the Note 8 value at,over £850,Samsung better watch out as people will get so feed up paying higher prices for there phones and start to look for alternative phone instead,with so many bezeless phones becoming available,if Samsung over price the future Galaxy S9 models,then it will be goodbye Samsung from me,Apple & Samsung are just companies who love ripping people off and damaging the mobile market now

  • Since I am using a lot of online money transactions I feel comfortable and safe using samsung for their knox security, am using s7edge since released, I don't find it necessary to upgrade to S8 as not much different, Me too been skeptical before of buying a flagship phone but now I love it for the experience, just to add, the S7 Camera performs well in low light. Apple not my cup of tea since I've left Apple eco few years back and no regrets, If you're using phone for average comm China phone should be o.k, I have a xiomi mi4i and a lenovo S850 for rooting test

  • I will not buy any of Samsung product . They have looted enough from customers over the years .

  • My opinion will be a somewhat different opinion. I like phones with good balance between price / design / speed.. That´s why i´am not able to buy a Iphone 7 (price) and why i would not buy a Samsung Galaxy S series phone (price / speed). Don´s get me wrong. The S series look really great and they have great power, but go somewhere, wehere you can touch and play with models like Samsung Galaxy A6 2017 or Galaxy J5 Pro. You will get a nice looking phone with sufficient power for less than half the price of S series. I´am a owner of the Galaxy A6 2016, and i have to say, that i am really happy with it for over a year now.The speed of the phone was never a issue for me. Maybe i´am not playing the newest games, but everyday tasks are not a problem for this phone, and i´am an IT guy, so a phone is really an important thing in my work.

  • I have an old Galaxy Note 4, rooted and running a Note 7 ROM.. the perfect phone.. for me at least..!!